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How fast can you tongue?

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
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I want to do a survey about tonguing speeds, I read somewhere that a normal speed would be to single tongue a note (e.g. C2 = the top C in the lower register) in semiquavers (1/16ths) at 152 BPM.

I find this incredibly fast as a reasonable goal (I certainly can't), what do people here think?

Is there anyone doing any kind of grade exams where such things are stipulated?
 

GJ77

Senior Member
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613
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Dunmow, Essex.
Just tried this, admittedly it's not something that I practise regularly but I could only manage semi-quavers at about 125bpm for any period of time and with genuine accuracy.

That quoted tempo seems ridiculously quick to me.

Glen
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
sorry, you lost me - 152 semi quavers per minute seems reasonable, but 16 times this rate would be incredible... Was the question (original and yours) about 152 toungings per minute?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
Sorry, they use whole/half/quarter notes here and I was (wrongly) thinking the beats were based on whole notes.

Is it possible to do a tongue trill at this speed and tounge the reed at the same time?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
What is a tongue trill?
What I meant was to put your tongue against the roof of your mouth and blow past it so the tongue vibrates, giving a pulsating airflow. Might be possible to do the same trick with the tip of you tongue against the reed and the back of your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Sorry, my bad wording, but it was a trick someone showed my son when he was using a bamboo bird whistle. Worked quite well. Have been able to do something similar when I've been messing around, but didn't really try blowing different notes that way.
 

Lockjaw

Member
Messages
75
Is there anyone doing any kind of grade exams where such things are stipulated?
Very long time since I did grades, but I suspect it hasn't changed much. I don't recall any fixed standard, but I dug out some old Grade 8 clarinet pieces and semiquavers at allegro (= ~120bpm) seems about the limit.

Some players get beyond that, but it's very personal. At higher tempi some players double-tongue, or more often (myself included) cheat by [e.g.] slurring the second note in each group of 4. So you get tu -uu - tu - tu. That was good enough for Jack Brymer on the Mozart clarinet quintett 4th mvmt at ~138bpm, so it's good enough for me!
 

saxophonedaniel

New Member
Messages
23
Location
Hong Kong
I have a classical piece for my Exam (Telemann sonata), which has a piece of 120 with sixteenths. I try to double tongue but I can hear myself the different tone.

My teacher said she can do 130+ single tongue, and she normally will not do double tongue as it will not give her much faster.

As for me, now, I can only tongue about 100 with sixteenth. I would like to seefor a "reasonable hard working sax player", what speed should we aim for............. Now, after reading the response, I have no excuse but go to practice until I can do 120 sixteenth.

Any tip or hint to practice in an effective way to increase from 100 to 120?
My tongue will getting slower if I want run it faster !!!!
 
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saxophonedaniel

New Member
Messages
23
Location
Hong Kong
I have been discussing with my teacher a lot of the topic "less mpc in mouth". I am trying to convince her to take more mpc (she is a decent teacher). My concept is more mpc in mouth, the reed will be resonating more. (but this will be another topic)

But, yes, taking less mpc will help tonguing fast.
 
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